A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Mindray Medical International (Shenzhen, China) reported that its Datascope Patient Monitoring Division (DPM) has received a contract renewal for a new three-year agreement with Health Trust Purchasing Group (HPG; Brentwood, Tennessee).

Under the renewed agreement, effective as of Oct. 1, Mindray's DPM division will provide its entire portfolio of patient monitoring products to HPG members, which include more than 1,300 not-for-profit and for-profit acute-care facilities, as well as ambulatory surgery centers and alternate-care sites.

DPM was one of only three vendors selected for this product category, reducing the total number of approved vendors from the prior contract periods.

"Given the inclusion of our entire DPM portfolio in the new contract and the reduced numbers of vendors selected, we believe Mindray will be able to expand its presence with HPG members and further our efforts in increasing our penetration within North America," said David Gibson, president of Mindray. "DPM's patient monitoring devices are considered best-in-class and this renewed agreement highlights the quality of our products and further strengthens Mindray's position as a leader in the sector."

Mindray is a developer of patient monitoring & life support products, in vitro diagnostic products and medical imaging systems.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• TomoTherapy (Madison, Wisconsin) maker of the Hi Art treatment system for advanced radiation therapy, reported that it has signed a supply agreement with Novation (Irving, Texas), the healthcare contracting services company of VHA, the University HealthSystem Consortium and Provista (all Irving, Texas).

The TomoTherapy Hi Art treatment system is the only radiation therapy solution to use a CT-style ring gantry design, CT-based image guidance and two distinct delivery modes that share an efficient, consistent treatment planning and delivery process. TomoHelical mode enables delivery from all angles around the patient in multiple, 360-degree rotations. The new TomoDirect mode allows clinicians to choose up to 12 discrete angles for treatment delivery. The choice of which modality to use for a given case depends on the nature of the tumor volume and surrounding organs at risk.

VHA is a nationwide network of more than 1,400 not-for-profit community hospitals and UHC is an alliance of leading academic health centers.

Provista, comprised of 13,000 healthcare and education customers, is a group purchasing and business solutions organization jointly owned by VHA and UHC and formed to serve organizations that are not members of either alliance.

• Nikon Instruments (Melville, New York) has named Laboratory Supply Co. (LABSCO; Louisville, Kentucky) as its clinical laboratory dealer in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio and West Virginia. LABSCO will sell Nikon's i-Series Laboratory Microscopes and DS Series Digital Cameras to the healthcare market in these states.

"Nikon Instruments is excited to offer customers superior service from LABSCO," said Lee Shuett, executive VP, Nikon Instruments. "LABSCO is known for its expertise in the clinical laboratory, and the selection was made based on LABSCO's experience and infrastructure to provide excellent customer service to Nikon's loyal customer base."

• Strategic Diagnostics (Newark, Delaware) reported a collaborative agreement with the University of Delaware (also Newark), in conjunction with the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care Health System, to develop biomarkers that detect prostate cancer metastasis.

Scientific findings suggest that cancer cells implanting in normal tissue of the body cause damage to surrounding proteins upon breaking away from the primary tumor, leaving behind protein molecule fragments. These fragments are indicators that the cancer has metastasized.

SDI will work to develop antibodies to detect the protein fragments left by the invading cancer cells. The results of tests that employ such antibodies would help determine the stage and severity of the cancer, and allow medical professionals to develop effective treatment options for patients with metastatic disease.

Mary Farach-Carson, professor of biological sciences and materials sciences and engineering at the University of Delaware, also serves as director of the Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR), a collaborative initiative among the State of Delaware, the University of Delaware, the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center.

Farach-Carson has been conducting research in the area of prostate cancer metastasis, which will be the focus of the collaboration with SDI.

• CPC of America (Sarasota, Florida) said it has entered into a manufacturing agreement with BC Tech (Santa Cruz, California). BC Tech will manufacture the MedClose vascular closure system (VCS), a Class II extravascular puncture-closure device that may be used with a biological sealant for worldwide commercial application in diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures.

BC Tech will be responsible for manufacturing the MedClose system for use in commercial applications to seal the femoral artery access site following cardiac and peripheral vascular catheterization procedures when approved.

BC Tech also will build prototypes of larger caliber for potential use in percutaneous procedures. Initially, BC Tech will manufacture MedClose systems on a limited basis and does not expect to commence large-scale manufacturing until the CPC has obtained commercial application approvals.

• Roche Diagnostics (Penzberg, Germany) and Exiqon (Vedb k, Denmark) said they have entered into a license agreement for use of the SYBR Green reagent in polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Under terms of the agreement, Exiqon obtains from Roche a non-exclusive license to use SYBR Green I in real-time PCR.

Roche said SYBR Green provides the simplest and most economical format for detecting and quantitating PCR products in real-time PCR reactions.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

• IntelligentMDx (Cambridge, Massachusetts) reported that it is working with the Battelle Eastern Science and Technology Center (Columbus, Ohio) to conduct assay performance verification studies of its nucleic acid-based diagnostic or "smart" molecular diagnostic assays. Under terms of the agreement Battelle will perform various testing of IntelligentMDx's Quantitative BK Virus Real-Time PCR Assay to identify its performance characteristics. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.